Best 5 Exercises to Tone your Glutes

The glutes, also known as the gluteal muscles, are a group of three muscles located in the buttock region: the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus.
The gluteus maximus is the largest of the three muscles and is responsible for most of the shape and size of your buttocks. It contributes to hip extension. this is mostly felt when climbing upstairs or engaging in squatting exercises.

The gluteus medius is located on the outer side of the hip and is responsible for stabilizing your pelvis when you walk or run. It is mostly covered but the glute max and it is located on the side of the buttock. It is a fan shaped muscle that connects to the bony prominence in the hip (greater trochanter). It is responsible for moving your leg away from the midline to the side (abduction) and acts as a stabiliser when walking.

Toning your glutes basically means reducing fat, and increasing muscle definition. A toned gluteal muscle may not necessarily be a big gluteal muscle, and often isn’t. When the glutes are toned, it requires a weight-loss programme to reduce fatty tissue/adipose tissue combined with a strength and resistance based training programme. If you are looking to increase the size of your glutes, then you should increase food intake (especially protein) while performing a strength-based exercise programme.

Common injuries to the glutes include strains, which can occur when the muscle is stretched beyond its limits or when it is forced to contract too quickly. This can happen during activities such as running, jumping, or lifting heavy weights. Another common injury is gluteal tendinopathy, which is a condition where the tendons that attach the gluteal muscles to the hip bone become inflamed and painful.

To treat a glute injury, it is important to rest the affected muscle and avoid any activities that cause pain. Applying ice to the area can help to reduce inflammation and relieve pain. Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, can also be helpful.

At Surrey Physio we use effective treatments for glute injuries. We have experienced physiotherapists and osteopaths that can help you to stretch, strengthen and advise you on strengthening exercises to tone your gluteal muscles, which can help to prevent further injury and improve your overall mobility.

Here are some of the key benefits of toning your glutes:

  1. General Stability: Strong glutes help to stabilise your hips and lower back, which can in theory help to improve your posture and prevent back pain.
  2. Enhanced athletic performance: Glute strength is essential for many sports and activities, such as running, jumping, and squatting. By toning your glutes, you can improve your performance in these areas.
  3. Increased metabolism: The glutes are one of the largest muscles in the body, so toning them can help to increase your overall muscle mass. This, in turn, can help to boost your metabolism and aid in weight loss.
  4. Reduced risk of injury: Toning your glutes can help to prevent common injuries, such as hamstring strains, by providing more support to your legs and lower back.
  5. Better balance and stability: Strong glutes help to improve your balance and stability, which can be especially important as you age.
  6. Improved appearance: Toning your glutes can help to give you a more lifted and toned appearance, which can boost your confidence and self-esteem.

Toning your glutes is a great way give shape and strength to your buttock muscles. Furthermore, it is important to warm up properly before exercising and to gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts. Maintaining good posture and proper form during exercises can also help to reduce your risk of injury.

In the meantime, we have developed 5 top exercises to help you tone your glutes. We used our advanced Rehab my patient software to develop these. Give them a try!!

Donkey Kick Exercise

Position yourself on all fours and keep good posture. Draw your tummy inwards (towards the ceiling). Bend your leg at the knee joint and extend your leg behind you. Imagine you are pushing your foot towards the ceiling. This is a great core, hamstring, and gluteal exercise.

Try 4 sets of 12 reps.

Multi-Directional Step Slider with Band Exercise

Wrap a band around the lower part of your legs, above your ankles. Slide to one side, and repeat as required. You can repeat both sides if required.

Try 4 sets of 12 reps.


Open your legs slightly wider than shoulder width and bend your knees to the full squat (90 degrees) position. Your feet can be pointing directly forwards or turned out slightly. Make sure you keep the middle of your kneecap in line with the middle toes of your foot. Always keep your feet flat on the ground.

Try 4 sets of 12 reps.

Sumo Deadlift

With a wide stance, go into a squat position and grasp the bar between your legs, with one palm facing up and one facing down. Straighten your legs as you extend the back into an upright position. Squeeze the shoulder blades at the top of the movement. Return to the start position.

Try 4 sets of 12 reps.

Lunge with dumbbell

Holding a dumbbell in each hand, take a step forwards, and bend your front knee past the vertical. Your back knee drops towards the floor. Always keep good alignment: your knee should stay over the 2nd ray of your foot, and never let your knee drop inwards. Return to the start position and repeat by lunging with the other leg forwards.

Try 4 sets of 8 reps.

If you experience pain in your glutes or any other part of your body, it is important to visit us in clinic. We have experienced physiotherapists and ostoepaths that can help to diagnose your injury and recommend an appropriate treatment plan to help you recover.

(Therapists reading this page, these videos are provided by Rehab My Patient – the best exercise prescription software for therapists to prescribe exercises If you are a patient needing advice, call Surrey Physio to book a telephone/video consultation with one of our expert physios or osteopaths, or book in face-to-face for an appointment. You can call us on 0208 685 6930 or book online by clicking the link at the top of the page).